Wall St. Watch: Google BUYS Users, GM CONQUERING China
Sales at General Motors Co.(NYSE:GM) and its China joint ventures increased 21.3% in May from the previous year to 231,183 vehicles from strong sales of microvans produced in its SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture. In a statement on Tuesday, the company also said sales from its Shanghai GM, a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. jumped 7.1% to 99,113 passenger cars. Sales at its Wuling joint venture with SAIC and Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co. increased 34% to 119,721 vehicles.
On Monday, James Giddens, bankruptcy trustee for MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGLQ), blamed the company’s former Chief Executive Jon S. Corzine for the events that led to the firm’s implosion. He said he may pursue legal claims of “breach of fiduciary duty and negligence” against the former executive and other firm officials for increasing risks and failing to safeguard customer money, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) has resolved activist investor Carl Icahn’s campaign for four board seats. The company said after “extensive discussions” with Southeastern Asset Management and Icahn–its two biggest shareholders–it will now add four new independent directors to replace the four who plan to resign. Three of the new ones have been proposed by Southeastern and the fourth will come from Icahn.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) plans to buy the startup Meebo, who will bring 100 million monthly active users. In a corporate statement, Google said, “We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the Web, just as they do in real life. With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google Plus team.” The deal’s terms weren’t disclosed by reports have been placed with a $100 million price tag.
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) may export liquefied natural gas from the United States, according to Reuters. This came after the newswire asked CEO Rex Tillerson whether the company planned to do so by exporting LNG; he responded, “We are studying it.” While natural U.S. gas prices sit at a decade low, Exxon is North America’s largest natural gas producer.
A.M. Buzzers: Facebook Edges Lower, Starbucks and Dollar General Drag
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shares edged lower this morning. Ironfire Capital’s Eric Jackson recently said that he thought the social network had no future beyond the next few years. “In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has disappeared,” Jackson told the CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Monday. “Yahoo is still making money, it’s still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it’s 10 percent of the value that it was at the height of 2000,” he said. “For all intents and purposes, it’s disappeared.”
Shares of Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:SBUX) dropped 3.93 percent in early trading. The coffeehouse giant announced it is buying bakery chain La Boulange in a deal valued at $100 million. Starbucks will start replacing its current lineup of baked goods early next year. “We’ll take it one store at a time, starting in metropolitan areas around the U.S. where there’s demand,” said Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Americas. Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ:PNRA) shares also fell 1.6 percent, as Starbucks move into baked goods looks to impact business.
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Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) shares declined nearly 3 percent this morning, despite reporting strong earnings for the first-quarter. Net income for the discount retailer increased to $213 million (63 cents per share), compared to $157 million (45 cents per share) a year earlier. “Dollar General is starting off 2012 with strong performance in the first quarter due to excellent same-store sales growth of 6.7 percent, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of accelerating improvement,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer.
Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) shares fell more than 1 percent in early trading. The company reported May sales of $5.98 billion, a decrease of 1.6 percent from $6.08 billion for the same month a year earlier. “Since Jan. 1, our underlying trend for number of prescriptions filled has improved,” said Walgreens Executive Vice President and CFO Wade Miquelon. “Looking forward, we expect our number of prescriptions filled to be helped as employers and health plans take a variety of steps ranging from changing prescription benefit managers to changing language in new RFPs to provide continued access to Walgreens and our services.”
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Traders are Up and Actively Waving Hands for These 5 Stocks Today
Shuffle Master, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHFL): Following its 19% drop since the beginning of May, Stifel Nicolaus thinks Shuffle Master’s impressive positive movement continued into Q2, believing that the company is moving forward with its strategic business initiatives, and that the sell-off makes a long-term buying opportunity. Shuffle shares are trading 16.35% lower today.
American Woodmark Corporation (NASDAQ:AMWD) announces Q4 revenue of $136.2M and consensus $133.19M. Shares of the company are trading 1.64% higher today.
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BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ:BLRX): This Israeli biopharma drug maker is up in a major way following announcement of two notices of allowance from the U.S. Patent Office related to treatments for neuropathic discomfort. Shares of BioLineRx are trading higher by 5.17% today.
JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM): According to Bloomberg, International Strategy & Investment Group reports taht JPMorgan may announce a $4.2B Q2 loss in its chief investment office, in turn potentially slashing Q2 earnings to 65c per share. Shares of JP Morgan are higher over 2% today.
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Disney (NYSE:DIS) has debuted new guidelines for food and beverages advertising on programs aimed at children and families in which all such products promoted, sponsored or advertised on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney and Disney-owned family websites must meet company-authored nutrition guidelines by 2015. These nutrition parameters match federal standards, encourage vegetable and fruit consumption, and promote keeping an eye on calories and lowering intake of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. Shares of Disney are flat today.
Facebook’s New Lows and 2 HOT Stocks Attracting Traders
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Newcastle Investment (NYSE:NCT) has co-invested with Nationstar Mortgage (NYSE:NSM) as Nationstar acquires mortgage servicing rights from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), National Association. The current portfolio includes an unpaid principle balance of about $10.4B and is comprised of residential mortgage loans in enterprise pools sponsored by the government. In order to acquire the right to receive 65% of the monthly cash flow brought about by the MSR, Newcastl has invested approximately $44M. Nationstar intends to service the loans and perform daily servicing functions. Shares of Bank of America are trading 2.32% higher today.
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): According to Canaccord’s May channel checks, iPhone 4s sales slow prior to the iPhone 5 launch, but it continues to be the top selling U.S. smartphone. Because Apple is expected to show strong 2012/13 sales and earnings growth as a result of new product, shares possess a Buy rating with a $755 price target. Furthermore, Walkley states that his May checks show that iPhone is the top-selling U.S. smartphone, but the iPhone 4S’ age has brought about “gradual share losses.” He expects iPhone sales to drop form 35.1M in the March quarter to 27M in the June quarter, but there is promise for future growth due to the releases of the next-generation iPhone, new iPad, upcoming MacBook refreshes, and the expected iTV in 2013. Shares of Apple Inc. are trading 1% lower today.
Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB): A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that four out of five Facebook have not purchases a produce or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social networking site. Reuters says that this means more should be done to transform Facebook’s 900M customer base into ad money. Shares of Facebook, Inc. are trading 1.71% lower today.
Dollar General Down Over 3% % and 4 HOT Stocks Buzzing on Wall St.
Quepasa Corporation: The company has been renamed to MeetMe, Inc., and beginning at today’s opening bell, it will begin trading under new ticker MEET (MEET). Also, the company has renamedtis leading social platform MeetMe, previously myYearbook, for iPhone, Android, web, and mobile web. Shares of Quepasa Corporation are trading 3.16% higher today.
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United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI): The company has raised FY12 revenue view to $5.18B-$5.22B from $5.11B-$5.17B. United Natural Foods’ gross margin dropped from 18.2% last year to 17.6%, and it sees FY12 EPS of $1.92-$1.96.Shares of United Natural Foods, Inc. are trading 1.41% higher today.
G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII): G-III apparel group has reported a Q1 revenue totaling $229.4M, consensus $213.39M. The company sees Q2 at $250M, consensus $249.58M. The company also reiterates its FY13 EPS view of $2.62-$2.72, consensus $2.70. Shares of G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. are trading 3.96% higher today.
Bridgeline Digital Inc (NASDAQ:BLIN): According to Bridgeline Digital, the company has signed a multi-year agreement with UPS (NYSE:UPS) which will offer B2B and B2C eCommerce web stores possessing an end-to-end offering composed of Bridgeline’s Total eCommerceSM solution and UPS logistics and fulfillment services. Shares of Bridgeline Digital Inc are trading 33.78% higher today.
Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG): Following the company’s higher than expected Q1 adjusted EPS but did not raise its full-year comp guidance, BMO Capital has decided that Dollar General’s guidance is conservative, raised estimates, and reiterated its Outperform rating. After Q1 results, Buckingham has increased confidence and recommends purchasing shares. The firm gives Dollar General a Buy rating. Shares of Dollar General Corp. are trading 3.36% lower today.
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Markets BOUNCE, Facebook DROPS 3.8%, Netflix ROCKS Partners
Markets closed up on Wall Street today: Dow +0.22%, S&P +0.57%, Nasdaq +0.66%, Oil +0.35%, Gold +0.38%.
Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to update at least four of its five Mac lines on June 11 as it kicks off its Worldwide Developers Conference with a keynote led by CEO Tim Cook, according to a 9to5Mac report. If sources are correct, WWDC 2012 could be the biggest simultaneous launch of new Macs in Apple’s history.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) underwent another down day on Tuesday with a 3.83 percent decline to $25.87. Not helping matters was a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that disclosed a declining interest in the social networking site and only a minority of users letting ads and comments affect their purchasing decisions.
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JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has been invited to Washington to tell lawmakers about his firm’s recent losses. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson said Dimon’s presence has been requested for June 7, when he will be asked to testify about his bank’s $2 billion-plus trading loss. Johnson wants an explanation as to how Dimon’s company lost billions in a matter of only weeks. He hopes they will be able to “get to the bottom of the massive trading loss” by speaking with Dimon.
Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ:AMRS) jumped 39 percent to $3.23 on Tuesday after it said its renewable jet fuel will be used in a flight demonstration during the upcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. According to MarketWatch, Amyris’s jet fuel is plant-baesd and made with Brazilian sugar cane. The flight will occur on June 19 and will include an Azul E195 aircraft utilizing General Electric (NYSE:GE) CF34-10E engines.
Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) saw it shares drop 6.5 percent on news that Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) will launch a content delivery network; this comes in an effort to cut its dependence on third-party vendors. Limelight Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW) shares dropped 12 percent from the news as well.
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